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Composition and Properties of Natural Gas

Last updated date: 23rd May 2024
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Introduction to Natural Gas

Natural gas is a completely naturally occurring gas mixture which has been in existence for centuries. The first evidence related to natural gas was found in Iran from 6000 BCE- 2000 BCE. A description of natural gas has also been found in Chinese literature dating around 900 BCE. There is a reason as to why this fuel has been used for centuries, it has got so many inherent advantages that it is still a major part of the fuel industry. Thousands of industries are still dependent on this category of fuel. The composition and properties of natural gas give it an upper hand over the other fuel resources. 


The basic chemical composition of natural gas essentially contains methane and ethane. Apart from that it also contains propane, butane, oxygen, hydrogen, penance, and many other gases in small composition.  This combination of gases can be categorized into these categories. 

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  1. Hydrocarbon Content 

The main natural gas chemical makeup comprises mainly hydrocarbon components. These components mainly occur in a gaseous form under normal atmospheric conditions.  The hydrocarbon component is ethane, methane, propane, and butane. Their gaseous form is mainly the result of high pressure in the altitudes where natural gas is found. 

  1. Non-Hydrocarbon Content

Complementing the composition and properties of natural gas hydrocarbon content is the non-hydrocarbon component. These are mainly noble gases such as helium and argon. Apart from that, natural gas also contains nitrogen, hydrogen, and carbon dioxide. 

Apart from that, there are some components in a very minute amount that have got distinct thermal and physical properties. These properties are then used to produce other products. 

Production of Natural Gas 

The first step in producing natural gas is to check the chemical composition of CNG that is available in the raw form below the surface of the ocean and other high altitude regions. Natural gas is mostly found in these high pressured regions of the sea and oceans from where it is extracted using proper natural gas extraction plants. 

The main step is to conduct proper tests about whether the surface will have enough natural gas production and make a profit out of it.  After that, the whole plan of extracting the natural gas is made using a proper team of experts and equipment. 

This task requires a heavy amount of investment, this is why only a few major companies of the world are operating in this segment. The commercial demand for natural gas is very high. The whole world is a big market for the consumption of natural gas. 

Uses of Natural Gas

There are a lot of uses of natural gas, be it commercial or the daily purpose. The main area where natural gas is used is the segment of fuel. The composition and properties of natural gas make it an ideal option to be used as a fuel. Natural gas has the highest demand as a fuel in the commercial market. 

Natural gas is a very efficient choice for making electricity. When natural gas is burned, it emits high levels of carbon dioxide which is very helpful in electricity generation. It also has less wastage as compared to other biomass fuels and fossil fuels.  The efficient usage of steam turbines and gas turbines helps in producing electricity economically. 

Natural gas is also used in domestic settings where it is used as a heating and burning fuel.  The ultra-modern settings supply this gas to people’s houses using the gas pipelines which are fitted with meters to monitor the consumption. In the less developed setting, it is supplied through other mechanisms. The chemical composition and properties of natural gas allow it to be supplied through pipelines in a safe manner. 

The chemical composition of CNG also makes it an ideal option for it to be used as an automobile fuel. There is a complete range of automobiles in the market that function completely on the CNG. This fuel is considered to be the most economic option for those automobiles which are engaged in the transportation business. 

The agricultural industry has also been in a better position due to natural gas. The production of ammonia reached a far better position due to natural gas. 

Did You Know?

The natural gas extracted today was from the fossil fuels that got buried in the land 100 million years ago. The production of natural gas is done using the fossil fuels buried in the high pressure regions, these fossil fuels comprise natural gas that was formed due to the centuries of high heat and pressure. It is said that 70 percent of the natural gas stock in the present times was actually formed in the Mesozoic era. Another 20 percent was formed in the Cenozoic era.  And the remaining 10 percent was formed in the paleozoic era. 

FAQs on Composition and Properties of Natural Gas

1. Is Natural Gas More Environmentally Friendly? 

Ans: Natural gas is one of the most popular alternatives to fossil fuel which is presently being prefered by consumers all over the world. Although natural gas is made using fossil fuels, it is considered to be a much better choice in terms of being environmentally friendly. Natural gas produces a very less amount of greenhouse gases as compared to its counterparts. When the natural gas is heated and burned, it produces far less carbon dioxide as compared to wood and oil. It is not the cleanest of fuels, because solar power is considered to be the cleanest of them all. 

2. Will Natural Gas Continue to be the Fuel in the Future? 

Ans: The segment of the fuel industry is advancing at a very rapid rate. There was once a time when natural gas used to be the cleanest of the fuels, which it is in comparison to coal, wood, and oil. But with the coming up of solar power, wind power, and batteries; natural gas is not going to be the primary source of energy in the industry. We are already seeing industries dependent on solar power and wind power. We can also see the number of machines that are coming up in the segment of electrical and solar power. In the category of fossil fuels, natural gas is the cleanest.